Why T. Austin-Sparks?

In 1984 Albert and Ada Postma started “The Golden Candlestick” as a magazine in the Dutch language only. They felt the need for good spiritual food, for Christ-centered messages that would help Christians to grow unto spiritual maturity, so that the Lord Jesus would be glorified as He ought to be, by and through His redeemed people. Later an English edition was added. It started as photocopies from the articles and books that were used for the Dutch issues. The authors of this literature were various, but mostly articles by T. Austin-Sparks were chosen to compile the material for the brochure. Why him?

God gave to Theodore Austin-Sparks (1888-1971) a gift of expounding the greatness of Christ Jesus. And, of course, behind that gift was his own life and love for the Lord and for His people. That is why The Golden Candlestick magazine is more or less devoted to publishing his material — although the main motivation of the publication goes beyond that.

After his death a lot of material that T. Austin-Sparks left behind remained unpublished. The greater part of that material consists of manuscripts of transcribed spoken messages. Many of these messages have been recorded and can be listened to. But a number of manuscripts are transcriptions of messages that were not recorded and a few are handwritten or typed messages that were not delivered in spoken form. All this material was inherited by his late son in law, brother Angus Kinnear. After the death of Angus Kinnear Albert Postma, founder of The Golden Candlestick Trust, asked late Mrs. Kinnear permission to publish the manuscripts. Albert Postma past away in 2014. His wife Ada Postma and three believers who met regularly with Albert Postma decided to continue the publishing. Only recently the present editors heard that Mr. Kinnear never wanted the material to go to The Golden Candlestick Trust. However the editors still believe that it is good to publish the material through the magazine and on internet. Mrs. Kinnear and Mrs. Macartney, two of Mr. Sparks’ daughters, asked the editors to edit the manuscripts carefully (i.e. improve readability) and check especially older messages (before 1945) on subjects that may be controversial. It seems that over the years T. Austin-Sparks has slightly changed his views on “the overcomers” (see the book of the Revelation). All that the editors know is that he was criticized of speaking about overcomers as a special class of Christians and that he never meant to do that nor actually spoke about overcomers in that way. He did use phrases like “a people within a people”, but only to encourage believers to keep on searching and striving for a life, individually and corporately, that represents the fulness of the testimony of Jesus, rather than to be satisfied with a powerless Christian life.

Christ Jesus is the only Person in our universe who can really unite people. Through His death and resurrection He created a New Humanity of which we can be part of if we put our trust in Him. That means that we trust that His sacrifice on the Cross is the only way to be reconciled with God and that His sacrifice is all sufficient. We accept the necessity of God curse the old creation because of its sinful nature. And by believing we have been crucified with Christ we also believe we live by His resurrection power. That is an altogether new life, empowered by, guided by and sealed with the Holy Spirit, taking the believer into a Father-son relationship with God. It is a life overwhelmed and motivated by the love of God. It is a life which is therefore marked by loving God, loving fellow believers in Christ and loving fellow human beings, a selfless life of service. The publishers of “The Golden Candlestick” believe that T. Austin-Sparks was an example of that life of love and service.

On behalf of The Golden Candlestick team,
Hugo de Jong
Twello, februari 2017

“The relationship and fellowship between the Lord’s people must ever and always rest upon the basis that they are children of one Father and that they share a common life. Life, not light, is the uniting factor; the one indivisible life of God in us all by new birth. Make anything else the basis and you at once divide and move apart. The only hope of any progress toward fullness is in that we steadfastly and resolutely preserve this simple basis. We must deliberately put back any being affected or influenced by earthly connect­ions of Christians. It is not for us to be affected toward them by their connection with this or that denomination, sect, society, etc. Do they belong to the Lord? Have they received His life in the Holy Spirit? Do they truly love our Lord Jesus! Is He to them the very Son of God? This is where our fellowship begins, and so long as they will not try to involve us in anything extra to Christ, but will allow a going on purely on that ground, we must continue in love and fellowship.”
T. Austin-Sparks, A Witness and a Testimony, Editor’s Letter, July-August 1941